Entertainment

J.K. Rowling says Dumbledore, Grindelwald had sexual relationship

Susan Haas, USA TODAY
Published 8:33 p.m. ET March 17, 2019

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“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” teases a new connection between Voldemort and Grindelwald that will have fans of the Harry Potter fans pondering for months to come, or until the film’s release on November 16th.
USA TODAY

Poor Albus Dumbledore. We keep getting glimpses into the life he led, but only one interview at a time with his creator, J.K. Rowling.

In the latest peek into Dumbledore’s life, Rowling says on the Blu-ray and DVD versions of “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (out now) that the greatest wizard of all time had an “incredibly intense … love relationship” with Gellert Grindelwald. Rowling added that she believes that “there is a sexual dimension to this relationship.”

Rowling finished: “I’m less interested in the sexual side – though I believe there is a sexual dimension to this relationship – than I am in the sense of the emotions they felt for each other, which ultimately is the most fascinating thing about all human relationships.”

Spoilers! Decoding the big reveals of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’

More: Why ‘Fantastic Beasts’ is destroying what fans loved most about ‘Harry Potter’

We’ll have to take Rowling’s word for it, because there’s nothing like that in the movie. Not even the “emotions they felt for each other.”

We get it, this is a film for young people. And even with a more grown-up PG-13 rating, there’s not going to be a lot of sex.

But Rowling has been outspoken in defending LGBTQ rights. That she hasn’t represented a gay character onscreen disheartens critics who say she’s missed an opportunity to put her money where her tweeting is. 

As one put it, “Unless there’s an editor’s note or some gay sex scene she was forced to cut out then she’s simply vying for attention.”

Another envisioned Rowling chasing people to add ever-more representative details about characters. 

Other critics accuse Rowling of inconsistency: “i want to point out that what she *actually said* is that she’s ‘less interested in the sexual side’ of Dumbledore & Grindelwald’s relationship – something she’d never say about a straight couple.”

Some implied the news was merely a distraction.

Others lamented that Rowling’s statement focused on sex to get away from their real concerns: “After being criticized for glossing over queer characters except in interviews, she reduced calls for real queer rep to ‘give us kinky sex details!’ “

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